3 get life with no parole for Riverside killings

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3 get life with no parole for Riverside killings

Post  Shadowplay on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:12 am

3 get life with no parole for Riverside killings


10:00 PM PDT on Friday, September 4, 2009

By SONJA BJELLAND
The Press-Enterprise

A Superior Court judge called out a Riverside neighborhood Friday for creating an environment where violence is glorified, accepted and tolerated.

"These killers weren't born. ... They are a product of their neighborhood and community," Judge Roger Luebs said before sentencing Vincent Solorio, 20, Daniel Ruvalcaba, 24, and Ralph Rojas Jr., 23, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing two people.

Luebs described the 2006 killings of Michael Benge, 24, and Denaya Shanks, 19, as among the most shocking and disturbing he has seen in his legal career.

Aspects that troubled him the most were that Benge invited Solorio, Ruvalcaba and Rojas over to his home and they were eating pizza and hanging out. All the while, the trio had planned to kill Benge, Luebs said.

The group was walking back from a grocery store near the Casa Blanca neighborhood when Solorio shot Benge and then shot Shanks, according to court records.

Solorio felt Benge had disrespected his mother weeks before when Solorio was in juvenile prison.

Benge moved out of the way when Solorio's dad, Jerry, pointed a gun at his mother, Gina, and pulled the trigger, said Deputy District Attorney William Robinson. The gun did not fire.

Solorio and Ruvalcaba had been released from the California Youth Authority shortly before the shootings.

"It's certainly a system that failed us and failed Denaya and Michael," Luebs said.

Ruvalcaba smiled, laughed and chatted with Rojas while Luebs read requirements on restitution and details of the appeals process. All had shaved heads and wore jail issued orange clothes. The words Casa Blanca in cursive script marked one of the tattoos on Ruvalcaba's head.

Sissy Shanks, mother of Benge and Shanks, looked at the three while she spoke Friday in the Riverside Hall of Justice courtroom.

She recalled having to choose between staying with her daughter's body in the street or going to her son at the hospital. She could not believe someone who was in her home could kill her children.

"These killings have broken our family circle," Sissy Shanks said.

Reach Sonja Bjelland at 951-368-9642 or sbjelland@PE.com

Shadowplay
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RIP Neya

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:03 pm

she'll always be remembered. She had such a beautiful smile. Her and her brother will always shine. That girl was wild! But, in a good way. Fucked up...real talk...fucked up.

Guest
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Re: 3 get life with no parole for Riverside killings

Post  EVANS STR. GANG on Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:16 am

REST IN PEACE TO THEM

FREE HUERO, CHIP & FLACO

EVANS STR. GANG
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